ND braced for PPC claims

The Prime Minister went on a weekend public relations offensive to defend his government’s policies as it braced itself for further allegations today about corruption in the Public Power Corporation (PPC) from the former head of the state-controlled electricity firm. «Our policy, firmly rooted in the new era, is already producing results,» Premier Costas Karamanlis said on Saturday during a visit to the Aegean island of Lesvos. «Our economy is rebuilding its trustworthiness and reliability, slowly but surely.» But the Prime Minister’s praise of his government’s work could not hide the fact that conservative officials were growing increasingly anxious over the weekend about a press conference, set for 11.30 a.m. today, by Yiannis Paleokrassas. Paleokrassas resigned as president of PPC on Thursday after pressure from Karamanlis. In an unusually outspoken letter to the Prime Minister on Friday, Paleokrassas expressed his disappointment in the Karamanlis administration for not backing him in his fight against corruption within the organization. Sources said that Paleokrassas will allege today that there were corrupt links between businessmen and PPC officials, and that the government allowed projects to be assigned to contractors without going through a tender process first. Concerned that Paleokrassas may mention the names of some members of the government he believes were involved in corrupt practices, sources told Kathimerini that some ND officials consulted with their lawyers over the weekend so they could respond to any allegations. The government also fears that Paleokrassas will give more ammunition to the opposition parties, whose leaders have already seized on what he has said so far. «Mr Karamanlis is essentially being accused of having entangled interests,» said PASOK deputy and parliamentary representative Haris Kastanidis «The government is being asked to give convincing answers, if it has them, to the allegations made by Mr Paleokrassas.»